Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at

  • selppataei

    this one ranks right up there with the worst.

  • ww

    So, having graduated from CAL, I have been a fan for a long time. But, just have to say Tedford has to go. He gets great talent every year and as soon as any ranking comes about, the team falls apart. Hunger is the only remedy for success. He does not keep his team hungry and has stuck with this Riley kid for 4 years. He does not have the goods. But the real problem is Tedford. He is overpaid and undersatisfied. Being ranked is not enough, losing to Nevada, r u kidding. Bye Bye Jeff. New head talent is what we need.

  • CousinVinnie

    Kevin Riley is the sole reason Cal lost today. Yes Georgio missed two FG but for a QB to just be completely incompetent is unfathomable. The defense held one of the best offenses in the country to 10 points. What does Riley do? Missfire 80% of his throws. Not run for first downs. Look more lost than Joe Ayoob. The defense was spectacular. Vereen could only do so much and with the entire AZ defense zoning in on him in the 4th quarter we still kept running it. What does it say of the confidence in your qb when you don’t throw it ONCE the entire last drive.. Riley needs to be benched

  • Juancho

    Tough to watch this. Hope to see Sweeney get more playing time throughout the year so we’re ready to rock and roll next year.

  • Daredevil

    Can’t wait to hear Eric talk about how we should have ran the ball more at the end. Our redzone offense has really looked bad in all 4 games for the most part. Where is Keenan? Such a shame, defense played so hard and a kicker not doing his job sends us home with a loss.

  • runrunpasspunt

    The Turdfed Bears look like doo-doo on offense. Seventh place is a looooooonnnnng reach for this team.

  • Kh

    Tedford does not have the balls to play sweeney, nor mix up the play calling a bit. It is getting real hard to be a cal fan right now. And it is not the kids, they played their a$$es off tonight, especially the D and vereen. This loss is completely on coaching and piss poor play calling.

  • TC

    once again, another back breaking loss…probably worse than last week. whoever was making the calls on the offense when cal had the ball w/ 2+ min left is just not aggressive enough. so predictable…AZ just put 8-9 guys upfront. why couldn’t cal keep playing for the 1st down instead of playing for the field goal where the tavecchio(?) has not shown any consistency in the past??? i’m so so frustrated w/ cal football’s playing calling and it all starts from tedford. seriously, how can you not be frustrated?

  • Eric

    Right now, I think we can count on beating WSU. Everything else goes from debatable (UCLA, ASU, UW at home), unlikely (Oregon State and U$C), to highly unlikely (Furd and Oregon).

    This could have made the season a workable one. I’m sure House, Nickle, and others will scream bloody murder, but I have no reason to be optimistic that we’ll get above .500, and it will be because of decisions like not going for it, and throwing multiple times on third and short. Look at our run per play average, and our pass per play average, and ask yourself why.

  • Easy Ed

    Look at the reaction of Vereen, Sofeli, Jones and the other pass catchers who had to contort like Olga Korbut to catch the errant passes from Riley. This guy has lost the team!

  • dk

    this loss was just so bad, there are no words explain it. you have 2 minutes on the clock, and we couldn’t get the job done. then UA comes back with a crazy run to get a TD, of course, and then our last chance and we blow it. 1 minute was more than enough time to get into good FG position.

    i say we finish in the league at 8th, tops. this will be the first year in the tedford era where we don’t make a bowl game. stupid decisions will cost us the season.

  • Jon

    1. For those who are blaming Tedford for this – you are entitled to your pathetic opinions

    2. Riley is … well it’s pretty obvious, with all the help from the refs he got he still couldn’t put together 1 drive. That’s all we needed 1 drive that ended in a touch down. Pretty sad to say the least. Oh let me guess what he is going to say ” we are going to watch some film …” he is a professional film watcher

  • Eric

    Whose call is it to continue to have Riley in the game at all, much less throwing?

  • rollonubears

    riley was good today. even on the final drive, jones dropped a good first down pass. there were TONS of drops on 3rd down, and in general. this isn’t on riley at all. he almost blew the game with another lousy screen pass, but he bounced back early.

    our defense was off-the-charts good. sec-esque. we had this game wrapped up in the 3rd on that 4th and 1. you have to go for it there. you have to show your team you have balls. even a field goal there would have only put us up 6 at that point. what does that tell your team? you are afraid to score, and you think the D is that good. but if the D is that good, then why not go for it? because you lack balls. this will happen over and over again, until 2015. there is no tedford 2.0. maybe 1.11, but not 2.0. we should be 4-0 right now. i just hope the team isn’t as demoralized as i am.

    oh, and i thought keenan allen was healthy. obviously he wasn’t. no kick returns, and only a couple plays on offense, which he of course dominated.

  • Daredevil

    You can also blame the Oline for not creating any holes tonight til a few late. But ultimately, its just so painful to see Riley not be able to make the little Screen passes or have the strength to get the ball out to Vereen when there is a rush in his face. And then choices like throwing a poor ball when you have open space to run for a first down. His # of wins are so padded by the easy non-conference games. Just sad to have to sit through another year with his act.

  • Daredevil

    Rollon, that last field goal would have put us up by 9 which is 2 scores. So I agree with the call once it was 4th down. Just wish Riley could get us into the endzone before that point.

  • House

    Yea pretty proud of this team, I have alot more faith in them then I did before the game.

    Let’s not forget this defense is one of the best in the PAC 10, and we were sustaining some drives. We just need to finish in the fucking red zone.

    This hurts, this was the bears game and they lost it.

    Two weeks off. Let’s get KA21 and mikey mo back at full speed and try to beat a tough ucla team.

  • Easy Ed

    Riley was good today? Passes high, behind, at the feat of our receivers. Poor decision making, can’t line up the team for the play called. Riley looked ok with Desean Jackson, Robert Jordan and Lavelle Hawkins out there catching those wild passes but since they left he’s looked like Longshore 2.0.

  • Larry

    UCLA will kick our ashes. Tedford will figure out a way to CHOKE his offense. It’s too bad because our D is excellent this year (finally).

    Lets face it we haven’t been great since 2004 and good since 2006. Tedford is a fraud. Tedford, step up or move out of the way and let somebody else who can win take over!

  • Larry

    CAL will be lucky to go 6-6 with a ball-less coach Tedford. After tonight I will predict they will finish 10th in the PAC-10.

  • Sleepy Floyd

    Riley – He wasn’t the reason we lost today, but he misfired on the two easy completions to Vereen and Sofele on critical 3rd down plays that killed drives.
    Also, the pass Jones was (once again) high & behind him…just like the pass he threw to Allen v. Nevada. Riley didn’t lose this game, but he sure as hell didn’t help the Bears win it.

    Play Calling – Calling for the run on 3rd down before the final missed field goal was pure stupidity. By not attempting the first down, DeNunzio (lol) was forced to kick a 40 yarder after a previous miss.

    Great defensive effort and gutsy effort by the RBs. Still, the Bears pissed this one away.

  • Kent

    Very few teams would have this happen to them…but this reminds me of those Bear teams during the 1980s…teams that would find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    I’ve been saying this for 4+ years now…that Tedford teams are consistently playing below expectations! As of right now…I think Eric is absolutely correct when he says…the only team in the Pac-10 that we should beat is WSU! I now believe that the Cal team will not meet the 7th place projections this year! I guess the bar was not set low enough!

    If the Cal administration was about trying to win a conference championship Tedford would likely have been fired by now…but since we all know that Cal admistration (both Athletic and overall University) are satisfied with simpley being “competitive” – translation 6-6 season is OK…then Tedford is here to stay for as long as he wants. To his credit…Tedford appears to run clean program and I get the impression that he has installed the infrastruture to allow these football players to really become legitimate Student/Athletes…bravo!

    But I long for more at Cal…I think Cal should strive to be more than just “competitive” in all of the sports…I also think Cal can do this without lowering its academic standards! Tedford was on the doorstep of accomplishing it back in 2007…but simply lost the respect of key players when he stubbornly stuck with Longshore as the starting QB. I now, don’t believe that Tedford has the ability to lead this team to a Pac-10/12 Championship. Given Tedford’s salary level, I would think the University would demand a stronger on field performance out of Tedford. But this is Cal…where a Rose Bowl appearance is really not that important…I still cling to the hope that my father and I can see Cal play in a Rose Bowl. My father is now 73 and our Rose Bowl dreams have been dashed each year for the past 41 years.

  • williamSo, having graduated from CAL, I have been a fan for a long time. But, just have to say Tedford has to go. He gets great talent every year and as soon as any ranking comes about, the team falls apart. Hunger is the only remedy for success. He does

    So, having graduated from CAL, I have been a fan for a long time. But, just have to say Tedford has to go. He gets great talent every year and as soon as any ranking comes about, the team falls apart. Hunger is the only remedy for success. He does not keep his team hungry and has stuck with this Riley kid for 4 years. Riley does not have the goods. But the real problem is Tedford. He is overpaid and under satisfied. Being ranked is not enough, losing to Nevada, r u kidding now this embarrassment. Bye Bye Jeff. New head talent is what we need.

  • Nor-Cal Scott

    I was impressed with the play of the Bears tonight. I expected Foles to shred the defense after last weeks horrific game, but he only threw for 212, with 52 on that one long bomb in the 4th to setup their td. KUDOS to the DEFENSE on a great job, and Clancy for calling a great game mixing up the blitzes. 3 sacks!

    Riley did play well… for Riley. 12/24 for under 120yds is what I expect a HS QB to throw, not a 2.5yr Pac10 starter. OC Ludwig once again played turtle and went into his shell down the stretch in the 4th qtr getting way to conservative & predictable with the play calling.

    You’d think Tedford would be willing to get Sweeney in more ball games. He’s loyal to a fault. Well, he owes his career to Beau’s grandpa- Coach Jim Sweeney at Fresno State. He platooned Riley & Longshore way back when, so why not now?

  • 85 calbears






  • Jon

    It boggles me to read all the posts suggesting that the field goal on 4th and 1 lost us the game, it should have been a game wining field goal. There is no way that that was a wrong call. What was wrong with this game is the senior gb playing worse and worse, and looking lost. I don’t know how much of the blame should be on the coaching or how much on Riley. Bottom line I don’t know if he is even mediocre, but what is disturbing that we don’t have a better option than him. Than just makes me twice as mad.

  • Kent

    Rollonyoubears…thinks our defense was off the charts good! I think we just caught Arizona during a lull given their exciting (program defining) win over Iowa last week. Arizona offese was terrible…Foles was off target…they had many dropped passes. While the Cal defense will look good statistically, from what I saw while watching the game…was an equally inept Arizona offense who kept shooting itself in the foot with miscues and penalties.

    We’ll see over the course of the season if the cal defense is good…let see how we do against a resurgent UCLA team next week.

  • Larry

    Amen, Kent, Amen.

  • B

    I am usually critical of Tedford’s conservative play calling, but I really can’t fault him too much this game. Riley is simply too erratic to rely on when the game is on the line.

  • Dan


    Odd… where are all Tedford apologists and defenders that were all over Tedford critics just this AM?

    Again, I am not saying fire Tedford, but I will say what has become evident for 4+ seasons-
    With Tedford as Cal’s head coach….

    Cal will never win the conference title
    Cal will never go to the Rose Bowl
    Cal will lose too many winnable games
    Cal will choke away games on the road
    Cal will blow a lot of games they should win
    Cal will frequently look lost or incompetent in 1,2,or all 3 phases of the game
    Cal (Tedford) will play not to lose, instead of having some guts and playing to win (with no fear)

    Cal is not holding serve. They are moving backwards with their play, while Stanford, UCLA, UofA and UW are moving up. SC, Oregon, OSU have already been better than Cal the past few years. Utah is on the way, Cal can’t beat them. ASU even looks really good, like they are improving. Not good.

    If you want to know what appears ahead, look at the last 2-3 years of Cal hoops under Ben Braun.

  • Dan
  • konamike

    Good teams win close games. We’re not one of them. Terrible play calling in the red zone. Riley is the reincarnation of Nate. In the post A. Rodgers era you’d think we could find a decent QB. As we used to say in my era – “Same old Bears.”

  • Will

    I don’t get it, we dominate a team at their house that is likely going to be close to the Top 10 tomorrow, who beat No. 9 Iowa more soundly that they beat us (they were lucky to beat us), and the only team we’re beating is Wazzu the rest of the year? Yes, I agree Tedford played not to lose again, and I am very disturbed by that. But some of you guys are not even logical. Give it two weeks and let’s regroup. UCLA did not suddenly turn into a juggernaut. They are a team in between the one that lost to the Furds at home 35-0 and beating an overrated Texas team in Austin.

  • Boaltblue

    Riley played a good game. He placed the ball where his receivers could put two solid hands — not just fingertips — on the ball. There were at least a half dozen catchable balls dropped. Lageman’s catch out of the end zone would have been a TD if Lageman jumped forward and caught the ball with his hands near his face rather than jump backwards to catch the ball with his body near his chest. Riley’s interception was on Marvin Jones, who had two hands on the ball, but could not finish. Riley’s actual stats are very respectable. If you count the dropped catchable balls as receptions, he would be a GREAT quarterback. No QB puts the ball on the receiver’s numbers all of the time. If the QB places the ball where the receiver can get two solid hands on the ball, the QB has done his job.

    Applying the standards that some of you use to criticize Riley, Jake Locker and over 3/4 of the QBs on ranked teams would be benched. Get real.

    I suspect many of you doomsayers are trolls trying to play mindgames. Real Bears do not quit. We will have a good season.

  • ondal

    I thought it was a hard-fought game that the team can be proud of. We just ran out of gas and failed to put the game away due to the kicking game, which was previously pretty good.

    Riley played well and with a lot of passion, which I think was positive. Our D was outstanding and goes to show that Nevada was a bit of a fluke. Sure, we didn’t get the win but no one — repeat — no one, will take us lightly this year.

    All those guys who are moaning are the same guys who, every year, fantasize about Rose Bowl hopes and world domination. GET A GRIP. 4th place and a decent bowl are good for me. This year.

  • Kyle

    Tedford needed to go for it to show his O that he trusts them and I get that but you can’t fault a guy for wanting to get the points and letting the D continue to do what they were doing. On the road you need POINTS and that is the number 1 objective.

    Now did Riley look good? No, not really. But let’s be fair there were a lot of dropped balls. Say what you want but the throw to Jones at the end is on Jones not Riley. You have to make that catch. Ross had a big gainer that was dropped and Lageman has to know where he is in the endzone. Not making excuses for Riley but people are so quick to blame him for everything but fail to realize that the other 10 guys around him have to make plays as well.

    Lets all chill out on how “resurgent” UCLA is. Their version of the “Pistol” as they call it the “revolver” is not in the same league as Nevada’s. Now their win against Texas was nice for the Pac it was a definite look ahead game for Texas who was obviously more concerned with playing Oklahoma next week. Two of UCLA’s TD’s they had to move the ball 5 feet. They only attmepted 8 passes all day. Stack the box and force Prince to beat you with his arm…..He Can’t. Cal is more athletic defensively and should handle the Bruins.

    The O is our problem. They need to do something. Where has A. Miller gone? They have weapons and I dont understand why we are so stagnent. I’m not on the Riley train but there is no way we see Sweeny unless Riley gets hurt. You just cant do that this year. He’s never taken a significant snap and there is no way you will throw him into the fire of the Pac 10.

    Interested to see how the rest of the season plays out. If the O pulls its head out of its ass it could be fun to watch, if not we might have this AZ game feeling alot.

    Roll On You Bears!!

  • Pug

    It boggles me to read all the posts suggesting that the field goal on 4th and 1 lost us the game…

    Afraid I don’t see anything mind boggling about that suggestion. It’s pretty simple. Tavecchio makes either of those very makeable fourth quarter field goals and the Bears upset 14th ranked ‘Zona in Tucson.

    I don’t find that statement mind boggling at all.

  • Eric

    People seem confused when I said the only team that should be a sure win is WSU. If anyone thinks UCLA, ASU, or UW is a gimme, go watch carefully the Texas-UCLA games and the ASU-Oregon games yesterday. Texas allegedly had the #1 defense in the country. UCLA ran the ball 17 TIMES IN A ROW. You don’t think Texas wasn’t stacking the box? The temperature and humidity should have favored Texas, but it was UCLA that played aggressively. UCLA’s offense wasn’t pretty, but it capitalized on Texas’s mistakes, and just ground down Texas. Texas’s offense looks a lot like ours, except that they don’t have a good running back, and UCLA crushed them. That’s two games in a row for UCLA. And yes, UCLA lost 35-0 at home to the Furd, but the Furd is starting to look really good.

    As for ASU, they should have beaten Wisconsin at Wisconsin, and were damn competitive against Oregon. Oregon easily could be playing for national championship. ASU ain’t no gimme.

    Of the 3, UW has looked the worst. But you think that team is a gimme as well.

    So let’s say we win 2 of thoses 3, since all are at home. Add WSU. Where do we get two more wins to put us over .500? Nothing wrong with keeping hope alive, but absent a radical change in strategy, any wins likely would be the result of pure luck. I’d like to see the posters claiming that this team has shown it is improvement over last year. I’ll concede the defense is probably overall better (Nevada game notwithstanding) and at least the kickoff return coverage has better.

    Okanes and others have said that this may be the most disappointing loss in the Tedford era. I actually think Arizona 2006 was worse, because when it happened I knew that we had probably thrown away our Rose Bowl chances, and it was so close. But this one hurts bad, because of the incredible defensive effort. And if you want to defend the 4th and 1, sure, it is defensible. But at the end of the day, it showed a lack of confidence in the offense, it lacked aggressive, and it gave Stoops the opportunity to tell his team Cal was weak and that they were daring Arizona to win. Had we run and made it, we either would have scored a TD (and the game was over) or we would have run another 2 minutes of the clock before trying for a FG if we were more than a yard out from the endzone. I pointed out what happened in the Alabama-Arkansas game. Saban understood the risk/reward for going for it on 4th and inches at the 50, when he was up 4 points, and he went for it. Tedford almost assuredly would have punted.

  • eric

    Sorry for the typos!